Chronic or Acute Injury Rehabilitation and Management Program
What defines a chronic or acute injury?
A chronic injury is one that has been (or is likely to be) present for six months or longer. Frozen shoulder and posture related hip degeneration, lower back pain and knee pain are examples of this. Chronic injuries can also be related to overuse, and the signs and symptoms of this may develop slowly over time as a result of repetitive stress, use and trauma to the soft tissues of the body. Chronic pain is a debilitating condition, and can interfere with a person’s ability to work, and participate in daily activities. The most common chronic injury in Australia is low back pain, affecting up to 80% of people in their life. There are many factors that affect the chronicity of a person’s injury, with stress and other cognitive factors playing a huge part in the development and persistence of this.
Acute injuries result from sudden trauma to a specific part of the body. Typically, this results in sudden, sharp and isolated pain to the area of injury, with symptoms commonly resolving within a few days. Examples of this may include an ankle sprain, fracture or muscle injury. It is important to effectively manage and treat acute injuries, to prevent the transition to a chronic injury.
Signs and symptoms
Chronic: persistent pain that has been present for six months or longer
Persistent feeling of discomfort, tightness, soreness of stiffness
Pain with certain movements
Fatigue, problems sleeping and mood changes
Withdrawal from activity
Previous or recurrent injury to the area
Acute: sudden pain due to trauma or injury to the area
Signs of inflammation- heat, redness and swelling
Intense pain upon movement
Inability to weight bear on the area
Bruising around the area
Exercise and rehabilitation
Management of acute injuries typically commences with a short period of rest and unloading, followed by a period of rehabilitation. If the injury is severe, surgery may be indicated and a rehabilitation protocol will be provided through liaison with your surgeon, physiotherapist and exercise physiologist. The main aim of this rehabilitation program will be to get the patient back to their optimal function prior to injury, and to prevent further re-injury. Depending on the type of injury and surgery, there are specific parameters that the surgeon will prescribe for the rehabilitation program.
A rehabilitation program post-surgery will generally follow these guidelines, however the specifics may vary from surgeon to surgeon:
Pre-operative phase: reducing swelling and restoration of range of motion at the joint prior to surgery. This phase is also important in education as to what you may expect after surgery.
Post-operative weeks 0-2: pain and swelling management, restoration of some range of motion at the joint
Post-operative weeks 2-6: progress to full range of motion, achieve normal gait pattern and begin to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint including proprioception exercises
Post-operative weeks 6-9: achieve full, pain free range of motion, progress strengthening exercises and begin cardiovascular training
Post-operative weeks 9-12: progress strengthening exercises, proprioception and flexibility exercises, continue with cardiovascular training
Post-operative weeks 12-16: continue progressing fitness as above
Post-operative weeks 12-26: continue progressing as above, add plyometric exercises
Post-operative weeks 26- return to sport: continue progressing fitness and implementation of exercises into functional activity and begin return to sport protocol
The current research shows that adherence to this protocol will ensure optimal functional rehabilitation and prevention of re-injury.
Chronic injuries typically present with maladaptive strategies that occur over time as a result of the reoccurring pain and disability. These strategies commonly arise as postural abnormalities, and when corrected can result in a reduction in the symptoms that the patient may be experiencing. Rehabilitation protocols for chronic injuries will focus on correcting these maladaptive, provocative, aberrant movement patterns, loading strategies and postures linked to the disorder by focusing specifically on aggravating activities and postures or specific components of these aggravating tasks as required with the aim of addressing the patient’s activity limitations and participation restrictions. Cognitive Functional Therapy, as developed by Peter O’Sullivan is an important part of this rehabilitation process especially in low back pain and pelvic girdle disorders. This behavioural intervention aims to impact both the cognitive and functional behavioural aspects of the disorder to address both the internal and external factors attributing to the chronicity of the injury or disorder.
Chronic or Acute Injury Rehabilitation and Management in the Thrive Clinic
The Thrive Clinic is a clinical environment and program that involves mindfulness practice and cardiovascular and strength training to manage both acute and chronic injuries. This supervised clinical program acts as an environment for patients to complete their rehabilitation protocol, whether it be pre-operative, post-operative or chronic injury management. Both chronic and acute injury rehabilitation programs need full compliance from both patient and therapist to achieve each parameter on their personalised rehabilitation protocol. Research shows that adherence and compliance rates increase for patients who complete their rehabilitation program in a clinical environment. This research has been vital in the development of the Thrive Clinic, and we have created a clinical environment where patients are able to come and complete their program, ensuring optimal outcomes post injury.
The Thrive Clinic involves an 8 or 12 week program, where the client can choose between two or three sessions per week depending on the severity of their symptoms, and their goals. The program will aim to reduce the functional limitations of these injuries, through the combination of mindfulness meditation, cardiovascular and strength training. We have had a number of clients complete their programs, and the results have shown great improvements both mentally and physically.
If you are interested in this program please contact the clinic on 9385 1430 or register your details in the contact form below.
Terms and Conditions - Any exercise program is not without risk and this or any other exercise program may result in injury, serious illness or even death. The risks are higher when you have a pre-existing medical condition or have not exercised for some time. You are responsible for seeking appropriate medical advice before commencing this program. The Exercise Therapist and Elite Health Management disclaims all liability from all in connection with your use of the programs, videos, and seminars or whether or not The Exercise Therapist or Elite Health Management is negligent. If you have commenced an exercise activity in accordance with this program and at any point during your workout you begin to feel faint, dizzy or physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult a doctor.